Dr. Jerob Leaper, BVSc, Hospital Director
In 2002 I received my B.S. in Biology from U.C. Irvine. During school, while working as a kennel attendant at a veterinary clinic, I met my wife Teresa. Following completion of school I worked as a laboratory technician in the endocrinology department for Quest Diagnostics for almost 2 years. I married Teresa in the summer of 2003, and whilst on our honeymoon, we fell in love with New Zealand and I made the life changing decision to move there and apply to become a Veterinarian. I was accepted into the AVMA accredited program at Massey University, in Palmerston North. I graduated in December 2008 and moved back to California to begin my career.
I started at Groveway Veterinary Hospital in Castro Valley, CA working as a full time associate veterinarian. Then in April 2012, along with a fellow veterinarian, we purchased Groveway Veterinary Hospital. For the next three years, I worked as the Clinical Director, managing upwards of 20 staff and dictating clinical/medical policy. In May of 2015 I made the difficult decision to leave California behind and make the jump to Kihei. It is always hard to leave behind a successful practice and many friends and colleagues worked with and met along the way. I just felt that Maui provided a better place to raise my two young daughters.
I currently live in Kihei with Teresa, my daughters Cailin and Amelia and our four dogs (German shorthaired pointer cross, a black Labrador and mastiff cross, an Anatolian/Great Pyrenees cross and a French Bulldog) and our four cats (1 Orange tabby cross, 1 British Blue cross, 1 Persian cross and 1 Tripod Tabby). In my spare time I enjoy spending quality time with my family and friends. Recently I have rekindled my passion for surfing, hiking and all the great outdoor activities that Maui has to offer.I am honored to have the blessing of Dr. Roger Kehler and his surviving family to carry on the rich history of Kihei Veterinary Clinic.
Dr. Jenny Li Hellsen, Veterinarian
Aloha, I have been with KVC since 2000. I was fortunate enough to have spent many years working beside our founder Dr. Roger Kehler. Although my education in Massachusetts provided me with her training and certification in traditional western medicine, I have dedicated my career to furthering my education and specialize in holistic treatment alternatives such as acupuncture, herbal medicine therapies and cold laser treatment. I strive to find the balance between traditional medicine and complementary holistic alternatives to create the best treatment plan for your pets health.
I live here on Maui with my husband Andy and three amazing children. I have two dogs (Sputnik and Aboo) four cats (Tabitha, Baby D, Tootsie and Emmet) and a beloved tortoise (Nui). Mahalo for trusting our team with your pets wellbeing.
Dr. Christie Balcomb, Mixed Animal Veterinarian
I have always had a passion for livestock, growing up on a sheep farm in Northern California and working with beef cattle, sheep and pigs during my Animal Science degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I then moved to New Zealand where I completed my veterinary degree from Massey University, graduating in 2011. After graduation, I worked for Massey University Farm Services, teaching senior veterinary students and providing mobile rural veterinary care for dairy and beef cattle and assorted livestock. After 5 years in New Zealand, I moved back to America to complete an internship in ruminant health and reproduction at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. In 2014, I moved back to Northern California for a residency in Livestock Medicine and Surgery at the University of California, Davis, and in 2016 became an ACVIM Board-Certified Specialist in Large Animal Internal Medicine- Livestock Emphasis. During my residency I had extensive experience with all forms of livestock, with a special emphasis on companion livestock medicine and surgery.
I have had a close connection with Maui ever since I was a little girl, coming for family holidays, spending the majority of time in Kihei. I look forward to spending time exploring the beautiful, natural features that Maui County has to offer. I am lucky to own a very special Beagle named Rita Mae and ginger tabby cat called Ziggy.
Jessica Blaney, Director of Hospital Operations
Aloha, I am originally from Palmer, Alaska and moved to Maui about 4 years ago. I grew up in a very small town where everyone looked out for one another so I felt right at home here on Maui with our very similar cultures and lifestyle. I started my introduction into the field of veterinary medicine, working after school, for our local veterinary hospital at 16 years old and never looked back. I have worked as a veterinary technician for over 14 years now and have loved every second of it. I moved to Maui to work with Dr. Leaper in 2016 and spent two years working as the mobile veterinary hospital technician and manager. I made the difficult choice to move back to Alaska in 2018 to work a rotation in emergency and internal medicine before returning to KVC January 2020 as Director of Hospital Operations. Now I put my years of medical experience to use supporting our amazing team and the important work they do here at Kihei Vet Clinic.
Safron McElwain, Lead Veterinary Technician
Aloha! My name is Safron. I moved to Maui 7 years ago to escape the cold winters of the Rocky Mountains, where I grew up. After relocating to Santa Barbara, CA in 2005, I got my first job as a Veterinary Assistant and realized I had found my calling. I worked for 4 years as an assistant and desperately wanted to learn more. After relocating back to Colorado, I attended Colorado Mountain College and earned my A.A.S degree in Veterinary Technology. I have been pursuing my passion for helping animals ever since. I have been with Kihei Veterinary Clinic since 2016. I have tremendous love and dedication to the animals of our island and the KVC family. I feel so fortunate to be working, living, exploring, hiking, paddle boarding, camping, kayaking and snorkeling on these beautiful islands.
Shalice Smirke, Lead Receptionist
I was born in Southern California, but moved to Maui when I was just 5 years old. I was raised on Maui and have been here for over 25 years! My partner and I have been together for the last 9 years. We have three young boys together, ages 6yr, 2yr and 6 months! We rescued the infamous Kiko from KVC and he continues to be a part of our Ohana. Aside from my time at KVC, I also help manage and operate Ka Oi Pool Maintenance. In my spare time I love going to the beach and spending time with my family.
Andre’a Torres, Technician Assistant
Aloha, I was born and raised on Oahu but started my career as a veterinary assistant 20 years ago in Las Vegas. I have been with KVC for four years now working as a veterinary technician to help the pets of Maui. I have years of experience owning birds and fish and love to bring that skill set and knowledge to pet parents. My husband and I have 3 dogs (Sasha, Josie and Papi) 2 cockatoos (Harley and Fiona) and many fish. In her spare time Andre’a is starting an aquaculture business called Maui’s Freshwater Gems, helps operate Torres Security, and loves fishing with her husband.
Kim Atkins, Licenced Veterinary Technician
I came to Maui 11 years ago from the Reno/Tahoe area and instantly fell in love with the island and the culture. I have been a licensed veterinary technician since 1991. I started as a veterinary technician assistant in 1987 and quickly became passionate about the field of veterinary medicine. I have always loved and respected animals and their welfare. I am particularly passionate about veterinary dentistry and surgery. I have extensive experience in emergency care, specialty and general practice and find it very rewarding to be able to assist the community through educating them about animal health and wellness of their furry family members and caring for each pet like they are my own. Mahalo to the Maui community for allowing me to serve you and your pets.
Jacy Perkins, Technician Assistant
Aloha – I’m Jacy! I was born in Denver, CO on a farm. My family lived in CO for 5 years raising sheep and cattle before moving to Las Vegas, NV. I was a Las Vegas Resident for 14 years (GO KNIGHTS!) and spent 1 year in Orange, CA before I moved to Hawaii. I moved to Maui with my partner of 5 years and our cat “Momo.” Here in Maui, my partner and I are able to live closer to his family who just welcomed a baby girl in July. I am currently pursuing my Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology with the intentions of becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician. Thereafter I plan to earn my Bachelors of Biology with a Minor in Marine Sciences. I love furry friends above water but marine sciences are my passion. My free time is spent surfing, hiking, camping, and reading books!
Frank Aranda, Veterinary Assistant
Aloha! I am from San Francisco where I volunteered for non-profits like the SPCA & Pets Unlimited while working as a Residential Community Director. I returned to my passion for animals full time, wearing several hats at Sonoma Veterinary Clinic while training as a veterinary technician assistant. Up until my move to Maui I was a caregiver for the terminally ill while also working full-time at Sonoma Veterinary Clinic. I spent 9 months at Maui Humane Society’s high-volume spay & neuter clinic and took part in many MASH events in addition to a daily routine of helping thousands of animals. Then I was asked to join the KVC team where I continue to strengthen my skills and learn new and valuable tools. I recently adopted a special needs dog, Strawberry Shortcake, who has stolen my heart! When not working hard at KVC I generally am taking care of foster animals, or at any of the many beaches here. My favorite escapes are the jungle and the ocean to soak up peaceful moments. I love my job here and am so proud to be a part of the KVC team.